The wealth of sea life in the Maldives makes it one of the top diving destinations in the world and one of its biggest underwater attractions is the manta rays. Getting the chance to swim with manta rays is one of the most memorable experiences you can have; they move so gracefully, almost like an aquatic ballet, gently soaring through the tranquil blue waters.
Growing up to 9 meters wide, these exotic looking sea creatures assemble in large numbers annually, between May and June in several locations around the Maldives, even swimming quite close to numerous Maldives Resorts and hotels. The manta rays gather here to feed on the abundance of plankton and can be seen at “cleaning stations” near reefs, where the small cleaner wrasse fish remove parasites and clean gill cavities.
Most of the luxury resorts here, like the Anantara Kihavah Maldives Villas, offer special snorkelling and diving excursions to watch the manta rays in their natural habitat. It’s not unusual to sight large schools of over 100 manta rays feeding in the shallow surface waters. These extraordinary feeding masses are unique to the Maldives and are considered one of the world’s most remarkable natural underwater events.
Manta rays are naturally inquisitive creatures and are not bothered by human presence; they may even approach and swim around you, that is if you can control your enthusiasm and stay still for long enough to enjoy the spell binding sight. However, be warned, in areas heavily frequented by divers, they have become very wary and won’t come near you but you can still enjoy the sight of them swimming around. If you’re lucky enough to experience the truly magical feeling of being in the midst of these beautiful sea creatures as they glide through the water, consider your Maldivian retreat well spent.
Auburn Silver is a travel writer who has a passion for fashion and a deep interest in admiring new and exotic attractions around the world.